When it comes to unwanted body hair I have such a phobia of stubble and so I shave every day to keep my skin smooth; but as everybody knows shaving is only a temporary measure to manage body hair and because of the way the hair is cut when shaving it comes back thicker and stronger overnight. As I have pale skin my underarms in particular are very obviously grey where the hair shows through under the surface and as such I never feel that my underarms look hair-free even when they’re shaved. In the past I have had them waxed but can’t stand to allow my hair to grow out so that it’s long enough to have it done so now I am looking into a more permanent measure to remove my unwanted hair.
Laser Hair Removal is suitable for both men and women as well as white, dark and Asian skin types. With between just four to eight laser treatments you can become hair free and care free to go about your life without the worry of unwanted stubble or purchasing expensive shaving equipment or waxing products. The Pulse Light Clinic in Fenchurch Street, London has over twelve highly trained and qualified laser hair removal technicians and two nurses making them one of the capitals best laser clinics and fortunately it’s just a quick hop on the train for me to get there.
I have booked myself in for a patch test next week to see if I am suitable for laser hair removal to my underarms and will be keeping a blog of my progress from start to finish. Here I hope to show you what to expect from visiting an expert laser clinic, to walk you through the treatment, healing and aftercare and perhaps help you to decide if this may be beneficial to you too. I find it helpful to watch videos and read blogs of peoples personal experiences of procedures and products that I’m interested in prior to undertaking them myself as it gives me the reassurance and understanding to decide if I would like it too, and seeing as this is my first try of laser hair removal the underarms are a nice small area to treat. We’re often put off of things in life that could really make such a positive difference to our day simply because we fear the unknown, in showing you my treatment and sharing my thoughts I hope to bridge that gap.
The patch test is performed prior to having a treatment to asses how the skin will react much like with hair dye’s and other skin treatments. I have been asked to shave my underarms prior to my patch test which I would normally do anyway. So check back soon to see how I get on!
UPDATE: My Patch Test
Today I had my patch test which took all of five minutes and was such a quick and easy appointment. I took the underground to Bank and then walked a few minutes to Fenchurch Street where the Pulse Light Clinic is situated on the second floor. The pleasant receptionist buzzed me in and I was greeted by a bright and vibrant fresh white waiting room with luscious green plants, fragrant flowers and music on the surround system. The clinic is incredibly popular with patients arriving every quarter of an hour, all booking their next appointment at the reception and leaving with smiles which is incredibly reassuring to see as I was expecting it to be a painful experience that only people with severe conditions seek treatment for but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
In total I spent half an hour at the clinic as I arrived slightly early for my appointment to fill out paperwork as it was my first visit. I was given a clipboard with medical forms to complete by the cheerful receptionist which stated my general health, any allergic reactions, current medications and my contact details. In that time I saw a mix of men and women, old and young, glamourous and everyday casual and it made me realise just how many people have laser hair removal treatments as my preconception was that it was only for the super rich or overly hairy, but everybody was so normal, just like me really.
Promptly for my appointment I was called into the treatment room by the laser technician who looked through my paperwork first. I was invited to take a seat on a bed in a chilly room which felt like the air conditioning was on. The laser machine actually blows cold air onto the surface of the skin to take the heat out of the treatment which makes it far more comfortable and soothing. The clinic was immaculately clean, minimalist and all equipment expensive and very well kept. I’m an OCD freak and if I spot cobwebs, clutter or poor cleanliness in gyms, restaurants or beauty salons then I leave immediately; with your health you can never be too careful and I believe you can tell a lot about an establishment by looking at the condition of their floors and walls because if a setting is clean then you know that due care and attention have been taken in all areas and the treatment will be performed professionally and to strict guidelines, which is the difference between going to a professional or a high street cowboy.
For my patch test to begin I first had my underarms cleansed to remove any sweat or product from my skin, I was then handed a pair of protective glasses to shield my eyes from the light of the laser and then the test began. The technician shot a few pulses of light into a small area of my under arm which made a whizzy pinging sound and instantly zapped away the small amount of stubble on the surface of the skin which smelt like burning hair. Despite having the cold air blowing onto the treatment area whilst the lasering took place I could still feel the heat of the laser, not in the sense of burning but more a warm touch from when the light shot for a split second at a time. I was nervous that it might be sharp or sting as it was my first experience of laser hair removal but it was more like a warm finger tapping on the skin and wasn’t uncomfortable at all. Within seconds my patch test was over and I was amazed at how easy it was, it was a quick and pain free procedure that I really wasn’t expecting to be so easy to endure as I’d almost prepped myself for undergoing discomfort in the name of beauty but thankfully it wasn’t the case.
I’ve now booked myself in for my first full treatment in three weeks time. My skin feels and looks normal following my test, the hair in the area the technician treated has disappeared and it’s slightly red a bit like right after you shave but it isn’t hot or uncomfortable at all. I’m pretty excited now to complete my treatments and rid my underarms of stubble, roll on next month!
My First Treatment
Today I had my first laser hair removal treatment to my underarms and it took around five minutes to do both, it was incredibly quick and convenient and can easily fit into a lunch break. Prior to my treatment I had my underarms wiped clean, put on my protective glasses and the laser started up blowing cold air just like my patch test but this time the laser treated the whole area of each underarm. The technician moved the laser in lines up and down the skin to treat each area much like mowing my garden.
Following my treatment the technician applied a cooling gel to my skin and advised that I should avoid any sweat-inducing activities nor wear deodourant for the next day to allow the area to cool and the redness to go down. As you can see from the photo my skin is slightly redden and raised but it isn’t sore, it always looks like that right after I shave at home so for me it isn’t any different. She also said that I could apply ice if my underarms feel too warm but I haven’t felt the need as it’s seriously chilly at this time of year so I only really sweat when I go to the gym which I’ll avoid working out for a few days to allow my skin to calm.
The Pulse Light Clinic provide free consultations and patch tests along with finance options to spread out the cost. With multiple machines they can recommend the best kind of laser hair treatment specific to individual skin types as well as advising on the number of treatments required as unsurprisingly we are all different. For a very similar price to salon waxing I am having my hair permanently removed and in six to eight treatments I will be totally hair free. My underarms cost £83.00 for a single treatment, £225.00 for a course of six and £269.00 for a course of eight making it just £33.00 each if you purchase a full course which is wonderfully affordable for all. They also provide packages where you can have legs and under arms, facial or bikini-line hair removal as a combo which I’m considering trying after I see the final results of my underarm course.
I am now booked in at Pulse Light Clinic for my second treatment. I will be posting photos of my underarms with each treatment that I have so that you can keep track of my progress and see how long that it takes, I can’t wait to compare a before and after picture. After spending my entire life with grey underarms I’m ridiculously excited about seeing my new hair free skin and will literally be running around with my arms above my head at every chance that I get. It makes such a massive difference to your confidence to remove the things that make you feel self conscious and it puts the biggest smile on my face to find something that makes my life easier and more cost effective.
UPDATE: Treatment 2
Today I had my second underarm lasering session and these photos were taken just seconds before my second treatment to show the extent of the progress from my first treatment. My underarm hair took almost a week to come back through following my first treatment and when it did it came back thinner and a pale grey rather than thick, start and strong black hair as it usually would from shaving. I have continued to shave my underarms between my treatments as usual and am so pleased that the hair is already weaker and less dense.
I think the biggest change you can see is the grey shadow of my underarm having reduced and just the dot where the hair is remains dark rather than under all of the skin. My underarms have lightened and the hair is around 60% finer and pale in colour. I can’t wait to show you my before and after progress when I reach my 6th treatment!
UPDATE: 22/02/16 Treatment 3
This picture was taken just before my third treatment to show the progress of treatment two. I can’t believe I’m half way through my schedule already and I love the results that I’m getting so far. As you can see from this picture I have shaved away the few hairs that still grow and they show up as black stubble, but I would estimate that already 60% of the hair has actually stopped growing now and the amount that remains is very slow to regrow. Directly after the treatment it takes around a week for a few hairs to regrow and when they do they’re weak and much finer. I’m so looking forward to showing you my final before and after pictures in another three sessions.
UPDATE: 04/04/16 Treatment 4
This picture was taken the morning after my fourth treatment and I love how fine and slow my hair regrowth is. The redness of shaving is completely gone from my skin and it’s no longer lumpy and bumpy from blunt hair follicles hiding under the surface. My practitioner explained that the under arm hair regrows in cycles and with each new cycle that is treated the lasering takes effect for which I will catch them all with time. I’m just over half way through my treatment and am thrilled with the smoothness of my underarms. I’m hoping the darkness will disappear from beneath the skin once I’ve caught all of the hairs of their next cycle but I’m already loving the freedom of no longer having to shave, not only is it saving me money on buying razors but it keeps my confidence sky high every time that I wear a sleeveless shirt and raise my arms!
Remember to check back soon to see how my treatment is getting on!
Pulse Light Clinic, 1st floor 150-152 Fenchurch St
London EC3M 6BB
0207 523 5158